Top 5 Things to do in St Thomas, Virgin Islands

6/04/2015

The best excursions in St Thomas will always be with a local that knows all the ins and outs of the Virgin Islands and can take you on a private tour of the places that only the locals know about. However, there are a few things you should do and know when you visit St Thomas to make your time here richer and more rewarding. We tried to make a list that will appeal to someone new visiting the islands as well as the saltier visitors that may have already received their “Been There, Done That in St Thomas” T-shirts.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you find this information helpful and that you enjoy your stay in our spot of heaven in this world. Please feel free to contact us if you decide you need the best St. Thomas boat rental to help make you trip special.

  1. Trunk Bay, St John – Underwater Trail

snorkeling-trail-virgin-islandsBest excursion for kids and novice snorkelers. Trunk Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Virgin Islands and features the world’s first underwater self-guided trail. If you are a beginner snorkeler or are looking to give your children an incredibly unique snorkeling experience, this is the best place to start. The underwater trail is next to the shoreline in shallow water, which allows a safe, comfortable experience for kids and novice snorkelers to experience sea creatures and underwater sights. The trail has underwater markers for snorkelers to follow that will inform you about the sea life and underwater features as you swim next to one of the most incredible beaches the islands have to offer.

 

  1. Magens Bay Beach

magans-bay-beach-excursions-st-thomasBest excursion for a relaxing day. No trip to St Thomas would be complete without a trip to Magens Bay, which was named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Located on the north side of the island, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Tourists and locals alike flock to Magens Bay because it is sheltered from the wind by rising hills on each side, making the water calm and perfect for swimming and relaxing. Legend has it that Sir Francis Drake, as well as other pirates, used the bay as a way to surprise merchant ships for plunder. The location has been very popular in tv commercial and movie scenes, most recently being used as a location in the popular Twilight movie series.  Magens beach has a lot of civilized amenities like showers, bathrooms, changing rooms as well as paddle boats and kayak rentals. Please note there is a $5 per person entrance fee and this beach can get crowded on heavy cruise ship days.

 

  1. Hassel Island

hassel-island-st-thomasBest excursion for hikers and novice kayakers. Just south of St Thomas lies a roughly 136 acre island with old ruins and lush landscape waiting for a traveler looking for the perfect hiking trail. Tours start with a 30 minute kayak voyage from Frenchtown marina to the Garrison House on Hassel Island. Once on the island, a 10 minute hike will take you to Fort Willoughby which was a former British garrison during the Napoleonic wars and one of the most intact forts in the Caribbean. Hike through old ruins and lush forests on your way to a secluded snorkeling beach to finish up your day.

 

  1. Duty Free Shopping

Best excursion for those looking to save a buck and have fun doing it! Hundreds of duty free shops line the streets, with the best buys coming from jewelry, watches, cameras and perfumes. A lot of deals are better than home, but some are not so it’s best to know your local price on something before you buy. There are many duty free shops and some duty free malls. Tourists can even purchase things duty free at their hotels or down by the docks. Whatever you are looking for, a savvy shopper should be able to take home a few treasures for below the market price. One thing to know is that you are allowed to bring home $1600 per person of duty free goods (with the key part being PER PERSON). Keeping track of where your purchases occurred and having the receipts ready to show the CBP officers will help speed you through customs for your return trip.

 

  1. Norman Island (Treasure Island)

norman-island-st-thomasAvast Matey, we b’ headed for plunder! The inspiration for the island in the famous book, Norman Island has a long and colorful history. From a hideout for real pirates, to being named after a real pirate that owned it, to having real treasure be found on it, this is a must visit locale. The island itself is located at the southern tip of the British Virgin Islands and is mostly uninhabited. Tourist charter boats to be able to visit this island because of the water level caves located on the western edge of The Bight. These caves are great for snorkeling and go so far back into the island that snorkelers can experience a night dive at any time of day. A fisherman that was forced into these caves during a storm found a treasure chest of gold doubloons after spending the night in the cave. The Bight, which is one of the more peaceful beaches, features great swimming and snorkeling and has a floating restaurant and bar called the Willie T’s. A must see for any tourist new to the islands.